Samsung Galaxy A5 – First impression

Samsung Mobile South Africa recently delivered the Samsung Galaxy A5 SM-A500F for testing and evaluation.

I will be putting this little beauty through its paces for the next 2 weeks or so; I’m just waiting for a nano-sim as the one I usually use got feet somehow.

The box comes with the usual items; nothing spectacular or strange. Charger, headset with microphone, USB charger and the obligotory booklets.

I must say that I love the feel of the phone. It feels solid and well-build. I like that.

However, turning Talkback on was a bit of an ordeal. (Note that this may be specific to the South African model.)

I had to get sighted asistance to turn talkback on in settings. Everything in the settings menu is vertically arranged so, the person must just scroll down in settings, find accessibility and go in; then find vision and tap on it. Talkback is the first item in vision.

After this, you can enable the triple click option and allocate it to Talkback or whatever you prefer.

The screen is responsive to touch and thus far, I was able to setup my Google account, even though I haven’t inserted my sim yet.

It is running Android V4.4.4 KitKat and I’m not sure if we will see an upgrade to v5 or not.

Excuse me while I get ready for some fun times.

Samsung Galaxy A3 and A5 now in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – 29 January, 2015 – Samsung Electronics South Africa has confirmed the local availability of the GALAXY A3 and GALAXY A5.

The devices feature refined full metal body designs that are 6.9mm and 6.7mm thin, respectively. Both the GALAXY A5 and GALAXY A3 will come in a variety of colours, including Pearl White, Midnight Black and Champagne Gold, to accommodate the personal style and preference of their diverse users.


We have been promised that a review unit will be provided as soon as possible.

I must admit that I am rather excited although I am somewhat skeptical as to why it is running on an older version of Android.. That for me might be a deal breaker.


The devices are available through Samsung Experience stores, leading retailers and local mobile operators.

How much does it cost?

Continue reading Samsung Galaxy A3 and A5 now in South Africa

Call+ – not accessible to blind users on Android

What is Call+?

Call+ is an app with in-app purchases but, essentially you can make phone calls to regular phones to a number of countries absolutely free.


There are versions for both iOS and Android.


I downloaded the app from the Android Playstore and installed it on an LG G2 running Android v4.4, KitKat with the Talkback beta installed.


The installation of Call+ took a few seconds on my 3g connection.


Upon opening the app, I was asked to enter my own phone number to
initiate the app.


The list of countries was easy to navigate and I managed to select South
Africa reasonably quick.

It would be nice if I could just type in the first few letters but, hey,
I only have to do this once so, no big deal.


After I have selected South Africa, I entered the rest of my phone
number in the edit field just below.

And a little further down, there was a start button with terms and
conditions just underneath that.


I double tapped on the start button to continue and was asked to confirm
if my number is such and such.


Here I was given two options.  I could edit my number by double tapping
the edit button or the ok button if I was satisfied and yes, my number
was entered correctly so, I decided to proceed.


When I double tapped ok, I was told that an sms was sent to my number.


This sms contained a 6 digit code that I then entered into the provided
edit field.


On this screen, you are also able to request for the system to phone you
instead with a code.  By proceeding, you also acknowledge that you agree
with the terms and conditions.


Upon completing the entry, it just jumped to the next screen without


Everything on this screen was 100% inaccessible.


The app on Android is useless from this point on.

How developers can make such mistakes is beyond me.

It is almost as if they are doing this intentionally.


I contacted the developer so, let’s see what kind of response I’ll be getting from them.

Web site and download

Visit the Call+ web site at

You can download Call+ from the Android Playstore or from Apple’s Appstore.

Africa Produces its First Solar-Powered Android Computer

In a world where tech startups are becoming copious and the concept of ‘innovation’ is flung about to an excessive degree, it might soon become difficult to find authentic models of ‘startup innovation’. In Africa, it is brands like Jumia, MXit and Brck, amongst others, that are able to comfortably make claim to the term. And the most prosperous of these are the startups that have striven to provide African solutions geared
towards confronting the continent’s challenges in the realms of education, connectivity, entrepreneurship as well as broader development.

Joining this list is South Africa’s Capsule Technologies – the inventors of Africa’s first solar-powered Android desktop computer, the IMPI Mk1. Capsule Technologies’ invention came to fruition in February of this year. The desktop computer is a durable, affordable and energy efficient piece of technology. Its runs on the Android 4.4. Kit Kat platform, allowing users access to over a million apps available through the Google Play Store.

The IMPI Mk1 can run solely on solar power and is built to withstand dry and humid conditions. It requires only 20watts of electricity compared to similar technologies, which ordinarily consume about 10 to 20 times more. This makes it an ideal solution for people who live in rural villages and other areas with power shortages. However, as people living in South Africa’s largest cities, townships and suburbs can also attest, the fact that the IMPI Mk1 only needs a single solar panel to run, is of great benefit even in developed areas which still experience a number of rolling blackouts and load-shedding processes as energy levels remain volatile. The IMPI Mk1 essentially addresses the energy crises faced by many communities as well as businesses in many parts of the continent.

IMPI’s energy efficiency aligns well with South Africa’s climate change goals as the country which has ‘committed itself to an emissions trajectory that peaks at 34% below a “Business as Usual” trajectory in 2020 and 40% in 2025’.
Also contributing to the objective of lowering carbon emissions is the fact that the computer uses components that last and are guaranteed for relatively long periods – up to six years – meaning users need only change software and not hardware, on a regular basis.

Founder and director of Capsule Technologies, Megan Verkuil speaks passionately about the possibilities the IMPI creates for the African market: “We’re looking at Africa in terms of computer literacy and we aim to bring technology that creates awareness. We are also speaking to some non-profit organizations, trying to find ways that we can, through this technology help local entrepreneurship.”

Capsule Technologies believes that the IMPI Mk1 is able to cater for a larger market, which brands such as Intel are not able to fully penetrate due to issues of affordability. “We want to offer users the luxury of the Apple [Mac] but at a much more affordable price”, says Verkuil.

The IMPI Mk1 has been recognized as a World Design Capital project. In July, it caught the attention of the Western Cape’s Ministry of Economic Opportunities’ minister, Alan Winde, who defined it as “[an] invention [that] is playing a role positioning the Western Cape as the continent’s innovation hub.”

According to Verkuil, however, lack of support is one of the biggest challenges facing the self-funded startup. She says while Capsule Technologies has gained great momentum after only five months in operation, lack of structural support for similar innovations poses a threat to larger development and sustainability in the field of ICT across the continent. One of the ways the startup was able to raise funds was by  joining a crowdsourcing platform, where it managed to accumulate $2000 (R20, 000) for the purposes of acquiring equipment and developing software.

Equally important to the startup’s vision is the intention to use its technology to make a contribution to another one of the country’s challenges – job creation. Working from a fairly small base in Cape Town with a handful of employees and students, Capsule Technologies is envisioning a very different tomorrow. The founders have made a commitment to hiring “locally, as much as possible” to meet likely manufacturing demand. Their expansion plans while already in motion, are still at the early stages, but according to Verkuil, the company already has clients in other parts of the continent. These include Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Cameroon.

The multipronged approach that has gone into creating the IMPI Mk1 is a progressive proclamation of Africa’s emerging startup culture. It is a culture which – consciously or unconsciously – is advancing the concept of ‘putting people first’ by responding to the African market’s most basic needs. It also highlights the importance of having an intimate understanding of the market within which startups operate. With the right support structures, this model has the potential to boost tech development across the African continent at rates far faster than many have come to expect.


LG g3 beat now in South Africa

Johannesburg, 16 October 2014 — The LG G3 Beat is now available in South Africa and it is the little brother of the LG G3.


The G3 Beat comes standard with HD IPS display which means the brightness and clarity of the resolution shows colours as close to real life as possible. It has a 5 inch screen which is large enough to view pictures and videos with ease.


The 5 inch screen might sound large, but the G3 Beat retained the Floating Arc design of the G3. It fits comfortably in one hand, in your pocket and in your clutch bag.


The G3 Beat fits perfectly into all aspects of your life. Head down to your nearest MTN or Vodacom stores and get yours today.


Key Specifications:

  • Chipset: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 400 processor 1.2 GHz Quad-Core
  • Display: 5.0-inch HD IPS (1280 x 720, 294ppi)
  • Memory: 8GB and includes 16GB Micro SD Card
  • Camera: Rear 8MP with Laser Auto Focus / Front 1.3MP
  • Battery: 2,540mAh (removable)
  • Operating System: Android 4.4.2 KitKat
  • Size: 137.7 x 69.6 x 10.3mm
  • Weight: 134 g
  • Network: 4G LTE / HSPA+ 21Mbps (3G)
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS/Glonass, NFC, USB 2.0
  • Colors: Metallic Black, Silk White, Shine Gold
  • Other: Touch & Shoot, Smart Keyboard, QuickMemo+, Gesture Shot